‘Strictly Come Dancing is helping me with my body issues’, says Matt Goss
‘Strictly Come Dancing is helping me with my body issues’: Matt Goss, who has a rare condition that affects his muscles, says being on the TV show has improved his posture and body confidence
He has a rare condition that affects his muscles and means he needs specially made costumes for Strictly Come Dancing.
But Matt Goss says the challenges of being on the popular TV show have already improved his posture and body confidence.
The 1980s pop star has Poland syndrome, which leads to underdeveloped muscles on one side of the body. It can affect posture and cause abnormalities in the chest, shoulder, arm and hand.
But Goss, 54, who is trying to raise awareness of the disorder which he has had since birth, said the way he has tackled the demanding dance routines of Strictly shows he is ‘not disadvantaged’ by it.
Last week judges on the BBC1 show were criticised by some fans for being overly harsh on the Bros singer after Anton du Beke compared his frame to an ‘unmade bed’.
But Goss, who is partnered in the programme with Ukrainian dancer Nadiya Bychkova, said: ‘My posture has improved since being on Strictly.
Matt Goss (pictured with Nadiya Bychkova) says the challenges of being on Strictly Come Dancing have already improved his posture and body confidence
‘I want to say to the judges, you’ve made me want to improve this and be proud of my posture. I want to thank them. This is a journey for me – every week I am getting stronger.’
He added that he felt ‘elegant’ in last week’s dance and that he thought his grandparents, who inspired the routine, would be proud of what he had achieved.
He paid tribute to the show’s ‘very caring’ costume team who produce his outfits.
‘It has been one of my favourite things about the Strictly experience,’ he said. ‘The costume team were relative strangers at the beginning but from the start they’ve always been very kind and discreet – it has really touched me.
‘I have one pectoral muscle on the right side instead of two. The lower one is missing but the upper one is fine and strong.
‘If I get a jacket made it will pull on the right side more. I have it tight on my right so it counterbalances my left side. Slim tailoring is good for me and my fashion is determined by my chest shape.’
Goss also revealed that with his newfound body confidence, he plans to reshoot famous Bros photos from the Eighties. ‘Nobody will have ever noticed but I often used to pose covering that side of my chest,’ he said.
‘After Strictly I plan to reshoot those pictures and show my chest. Those original pictures tell a story – I was self-conscious then.’
The 1980s pop star has Poland syndrome, which leads to underdeveloped muscles on one side of the body
In a harrowing experience, when Goss was aged ten told he might have to have his leg amputated
The musician – whose twin brother Luke is not affected by Poland syndrome – hopes to help children suffering with the same condition by showing how they can ‘achieve everything in life’.
He recalled a harrowing experience when, aged ten, he was told he might have to have his leg amputated. ‘When I was a kid the doctors did not know so much,’ he said.
‘I remember… they thought I had a serious knee condition – septic arthritis – and that my leg might have to be amputated. I had 15 doctors around my bed talking about me like I wasn’t there.’
He added: ‘I’ve always been a confident man and I have a very strong upper body, but I know what it is like for kids with this condition.
‘I’m not disadvantaged and I want kids to know that. I am going to look at creating some kind of charity to build confidence, to show kids with the syndrome they can achieve everything in life.’
Poland syndrome affects one in 20,000 newborns, and twice as many males as females. Experts say it is often undiagnosed in children.